Cool Noir

Got an email yesterday from an author friends who has written three very cool noir novels. Megan Abbott.

Here is a cool youtube vide promo for her second novel, The Song is You.

I was fortunate enough to meet Megan (via my wife Colleen who used to work with Megan’s mother, Patty, an author in her own right, of short stories, at Wayne State University) a few years ago, just as her first book, Die A Little, was being published. I’ve long been a fan of film noir and noir fiction. In grad school, I spent the better part of one summer reading almost exclusively noir pulp stuff by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, James M. Cain, and my local Detroit favorite PI writer, Loren Estleman, author of the Amos Walker PI novel series, instead of catching up on my course work reading – blah!

 Anyhoo…Megan’s novels are exceptional. Her stories are compelling and tantalizing and her characters unique and interesting. She writes cracker jack dialogue and beautiful, elegant prose. But one of the real treats of her books are the period details. Megan, something of culturual anthropoligist, and I believe she’d copped to that title, has this stuff down, the kinds of deserts served to the drapes presented to dresses donned and on an on, really capturing the feel of 40s/50s L.A.

One of the very cool things that I really dig about Megan’s books is the retro pulp cover artwork, which can be seen on her web site. I especially like the one forThe Song is You, because according to Megan the artist used the actress Gloria Grahame, who stared in many a noir film during her career, as the model. Gloria Grahame would have had little problem convincing me to committ murder on her behalf. Vava voom! Hubba! Hubba! and all that sort of thing. I’ve been smitten with her from the first time I saw It’s a Wonderful Life when I was maybe 12 or 13.

I tell you I could stare that book cover all day. Actually I sort of do, because I have a post card of it that Megan sent me to announce the publication of the book stuck up on the wall above my computer.

Megan is also the author of th nonfiction book The Street Was Mine:What Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir. And her first novel, Die A Little, was optioned for a possible film by Jessica Biel, I think.

 

 

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